REGINA – An Indigenous man who was found guilty of hunting on private land in Saskatchewan has had his conviction overturned by the province’s highest court.
Kristjan Pierone, who is from Treaty Five in Manitoba, was charged with unlawful hunting after he killed a bull moose on land owned by a farming company near Swift Current in September 2015.
The Crown argued he did not have the right to claim treaty hunting rights within Treaty Four land, but Pierone pleaded not guilty and was acquitted.
A judge sided with the Crown’s appeal of the acquittal, but the case went to the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, which overturned the conviction on April 27.
The court found the appeal judge incorrectly reviewed the case and the impact of the evidence and ruled the Crown failed to prove the land was in use, or incompatible for hunting.
The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations says the decision affirms First Nations’ inherent treaty rights for hunting.
“Many First Nations people rely on wildlife and plants for sustenance,” said federation vice-chief Heather Bear in a release. “This is an important issue and we will follow up with Minister of Environment.”
Read more here: Hunting